A cargo vessel almost crashed into the Bosporus waterfront yesterday after a technical glitch left the ship drifting in the waterway. The crew managed to anchor at a close distance to several waterfront mansions. The incident was a dire reminder of last April's crash of a vessel into a historic mansion on the shore of the Bosporus.
The Maltese-flagged ship was heading to Italy from Romania and malfunctioned while it was crossing the Bosporus from the Black Sea entrance north of Istanbul. The 173-meter-long vessel avoided a potential disaster off the shores of Çengelköy, a historic district on Istanbul's Asian side where mansions dot the shore. After completing repairs, the ship resumed its journey.
Turkey's straits are among the most at-risk waterways in the world, according to experts. Over 50,000 vessels, including tankers carrying highly flammable oil, pass through the Bosporus, an S-shaped channel with sharp turns and changing currents that pose challenges for vessels and sailors every year.The deadliest accident occured when a Romanian tanker and a Greek freighter collided and exploded in November 1979, killing 42 crew members aboard the Romanian tanker. The last major accident in the strait was in 2003 when a Georgian-flagged vessel ran aground, resulting in a spill of 480 tons of oil.